Chelsea vs Manchester City 3/1/21 – Full Match Report

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

Chelsea’s first game of 2021 ends in a frustrating defeat, with Manchester City stealing all 3 points at Stamford Bridge.

Having lost three of their last five games in the Premier League, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea aimed to bounce back against a COVID-hit Manchester City team, who were without five key players including Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus and England defender Kyle Walker.

Chelsea on the other hand were keen on welcoming back playmaker Hakim Ziyech, who started out wide alongside Christian Pulisic, with Timo Werner reverting back to his preferred position of playing down the middle of the attacking three.

City were also without their regular starting goalkeeper Ederson, which saw a first ever Premier League start for United States international Zack Steffen – who was scrutinised just four minutes into his debut for handling a back pass.

Chelsea started fresh, and for the opening 10 to 15 minutes looked the better team. There was controversy when Timo Werner looked to have been caught by Rodri on the edge of the penalty area, which referee Anthony Taylor quickly dismissed.

Shortly after, City came close to breaking the deadlock through Kevin de Bruyne, who dragged his shot just wide of the far post – failing to capitalise on what was the first real opportunity of the game.

This brought Guardiola’s team to life, and after two intense minutes of City pressure, İlkay Gündoğan managed to convert the opener of the game from the edge of the area, with a touch from Édouard Mendy failing to do enough to keep it out.

3 minutes later and Manchester City found themselves with a second, this time the Chelsea backline stood still as Phil Foden arrived in space and beat Mendy at his near post. 20 minutes into the game and suddenly City were cruising with a comfortable lead over the team from south-west London.

City continued to tear Chelsea to shreds throughout the half, with Kevin de Bruyne making it 3-0 against his former team on the 34th minute. The move began with Raheem Sterling who broke away on a counterattack, his effort hit the post, with the rebound being converted by the Belgian.

2 minutes before the break and City continued to attack Chelsea like a pack of wolves, with Gündoğan coming close to his second after an audacious back heal drifted just wide of the far post.

As the half-time whistle blew, it seemed that the writing may have been on the wall at Stamford Bridge after what was a devasting first half for the blues. Frank Lampard responded by instructing his entire bench to warm up during the break.

As the second half begun, Mendy was once again called into action, this time denying Portuguese defender Rúben Dias from point-black range – saving Chelsea from an even further deficit.

The intensity later begun to mellow, City were happy with their lead, and had the 3 points within their grasp. Chelsea struggled to break down Guardiola’s team who were well organised across the pitch.

Although the defeat looked inevitable, Chelsea did grab a late consolation goal in injury time through Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was one of few bright sparks in what was a lack-lustered Chelsea performance.

Following the 3-1 defeat, Chelsea have now dropped to 8th, however, are still just 3 points away from a top 4 spot. Manchester City have moved into 5th, being just 4 points off top spot with a game in hand over league leaders Liverpool.

Next up for Lampard’s men is Morecambe on January 10th in the FA Cup, a fixture where Frank will be looking for confidence and consistency to mark the end of what has been a poor run of games over the past few weeks.

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